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Project owners and their contractors must ensure that clear rules are in place for data management from the outset of a project to prevent a rise in disputes over data, a leading claims and disputes consultant has warned.
In an exclusive interview with MEED, HKA associate director Iryna Akulenka says there is a need for greater clarity around data ownership and project accountability.
“An enormous amount of data is being created and collected that can be used to prevent claims or deal with disputes more efficiently,” says Akulenka. “But how companies utilise this data is crucial for success and the challenge is that this data is not being used to take action in real-time.”
The region's construction sector has largely failed to keep up with the rate of change in digital technology, meaning the industry lacks established standards and rules regarding data ownership and responsibility. This problem is compounded by the fragmentation of the construction supply chain.
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Akulenka says that while top-tier contractors can invest in digitalising their processes, smaller companies often lack the resources to make such investments.
Data protection and privacy are also increasingly important issues, making collaboration and information-sharing vital for early decision-making.
“Digitisation can help project teams and asset owners drive efficiencies, but this will not happen without creating a culture of collaboration and information-sharing,” says Akulenka.
“To do this successfully, project stakeholders must specify requirements at the earliest possible stage of the project, agree on what records have to be maintained, and then agree to an arrangement that suits all parties.”
The latest MEED-HKA Market Talk “Data Resolution” explores how digital data is transforming claims investigation and dispute resolution in the Middle East. HKA is a global consultancy in risk mitigation and dispute resolution.
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